Electrical Fires - How They Start
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the second leading of cause of house fires in the U.S. is from electrical failures or malfunctions. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances. The following are the most common reasons why electrical fires happen:
Old electrical sockets and unsafe appliances
Appliances that are old and overused and those that fall short of modern safety standards are the worst culprits. Frayed electrical cords, self-jointed wires, and worn out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. They become ready outlets for directing heat and fire to carpets, rugs, curtains, and combustible plastic. Older appliances draw more power than the wall sockets can handle.
Using light fixtures that exceed the permissible wattage
A very common cause of fires is plugging lights, lighting appliances and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Antique lighting appliances may have defective wiring that makes the appliance unstable by overheating. Decorating lights with colored paper and cloth shades can increase the risk of fire when the material or fabric heats up.
Using multiple appliances plugged into an extension cord
Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. The risk of fire increases when your TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord. This creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load. So, there is a social and economic cost to damaged wiring!
Locating portable heaters near combustible materials
Portable space heaters that use coils are potentially dangerous when they are positioned carelessly near curtains and rugs and adjacent to beds and cloth covered furniture. The chances of inflammable material meeting the red-hot coils increase the risk of fire.
Wiring that becomes defective with the passage of time
Over a period of time you add more electrical appliances such as wide screen televisions, home theatre, microwave oven, refrigerator, and air conditioners. The outdated home wiring cannot handle the increased power load. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and catches fire. If the breaker boxes are themselves defective, they cannot prevent overheated electrical panels from catching fire.
Fall Weather Can Be Destructive
Since we are now in the fall season you may have noticed a lot of rain. In these wetter months, we all must consider the possible damages that can happen to our structures during this time of year. Fall weather may not be as destructive as winter, but it is better to prepare for water damage before it is too late.
For homeowners, some concerns due to fall weather can be:
- Eroded landscaping
- Rutted driveways, especially those that are graded either up or downhill
- Moldy siding, windowsills, doorjambs, windowpanes, and roofing
- Rotting wooden fencing and decking
- Leaking roof
- Puddles and pooling
For business owners, some concerns can be:
- Potholes and eroded surfaces in public parking areas
- Eroded walkways or damaged, buckling sidewalks and public walkways
- Leaking roofs
- Damaged materials and machinery that have not been stored properly
Businesses must also keep an eye on employee bathrooms and kitchen/break areas to make sure that leaks are handled immediately and that spills are cleaned up right away. During bad weather, customers and vendors will track water and debris into your building, and both for safety and aesthetics, it will be a good idea to keep up with this type of accumulation to prevent water damage. Have an umbrella stand ready for everyone who comes through the door!
Homeowners also need to keep up with spills, leaks, and traffic, but it will obviously not be such a large job. In a home, water damage is more likely to come from a water heater or dishwasher that is malfunctioning, or a washer that has developed an issue.
One thing both types of structures must be concerned about is mold, however - it is never a good thing to realize that mold has taken hold in either your home or your business. Mold just needs two things to grow: water and humidity. It can infest a home or business in as little as 48 hours and even the tiniest of unchecked leaks can produce an infestation. With a household or workplace mold infestation can come allergens and irritants, making it an uncomfortable living, or working environment.
If you suspect mold, weather because of water damage, or just from damp conditions, you should call SERVPRO of Romulus as quickly as possible. We are always “here to help," and have the training, equipment, and expertise to take care of your mold problem. Our goal is to get you back to a clean, healthy home and make it "Like it never even happened."
Hidden Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage does not only come from burst pipes or flooding to damage your home. In most cases, undetected water damage can cause the most damage and be quite the headache.
There are five indicators that there’s water damage going hidden in your home:
- Stains on walls and ceilings: Nobody purposefully looks up at their ceiling. However, it is important to thoroughly check the ceilings in your home for stains. There might be a bathtub or shower leak from one floor to the next, or your ceiling could be leaking into the attic.
- Musty or unpleasant smells: Do you smell something musty, or even earthy, in your home? Hidden water can cause mold to grow, and a nasty smell is a good signal that something is wrong.
- Peeling paint: Not only can water stain your walls, but it can also cause the paint to lift. If you see your paint starting to peel, quickly find the source of the problem, or call a professional to fix it.
- Mold Growth: Just like with ceilings, we do not exactly pay attention to the corners of our homes, but often these small hidden areas can tell us about potentially harmful leaks or spills. Check to see if there are any discolored or fuzzy looking spots in isolated corners or hidden areas.
- Flooring: When allowed to flow, water naturally seeks the lowest level. Therefore, rivers flow downstream. Water can seep under your flooring and collect – damaging your sub-floors. Check for and warping or deformation to make sure there is no water hiding beneath the floorboards. When this happens, it is important to act as quickly as possible, so we can restore your flooring to good as new.
Here at SERVPRO of Romulus, we are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition. Whether water damage sneaks up on you or not, we are available 24/7 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Air Duct Cleaning
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.
According to the EPA:
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if-
- There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
- There is an odd smell coming from the duct system.
- Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects)
- Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are released into the home from your supply registers.
Some research also suggests that cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers can improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems.
Is cleaning my air ducts really that important?
During normal operation, dust can accumulate in ductwork that can lead to microbial growth. Duct cleaning has been shown to reduce this growth, as well as increase the efficiency of your system. In fact, in some cases of extreme buildup, it can increase efficiency as much as 40 percent!
SERVPRO of Romulus professionals routinely inspects the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can, in turn, save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning or a free quote call us today! 734-992-3138
Prepare Your Home For Fall
Sweater weather is now in full swing. It is time for leaves changing colors, cider mills, and pumpkin spice everything! Decorating your home for fall is always fun, but have you prepared your home for it? Follow our checklist to make sure your home is ready to take on fall.
- Clean or replace your gutters – Not cleaning and draining your gutters can cause water damage inside and outside your home.
- Drain your outdoor faucets – Drain and disconnect all garden hoses to prevent water from freeing. Not doing this can cause pipes to burst, leading to water damage.
- Check for drafts – If you have drafts in your home, this only causes heating cost to rise. Consider weatherstripping to keep heating costs down.
- Change your batteries – It is always important to check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices in your home.
- Have your furnace inspected – Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, change the filter, and check for heating efficiency.
- Check water drainage – Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways.
Take care of the little things that can make a huge difference for you and your home. By following this checklist, you could potentially avoid extensive damage to your home. As always, if you happen to have water damage, we are here to help 24/7.
Halloween Safety Tips
With a season full of tricks and treats, SERVPRO wants to provide with fire safety tips to ensure a safe and fun Halloween. Halloween decorations are the first thing to ignite in over than 1,000 reported home fires each year. Whether you are trick or treating, throwing a party, or staying inside, decorations can be a lurking fire risk and it is important to be aware.
From the National Fire Protection Association, here are five Halloween fire safety tips:
- Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
- When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing fabric.
- Teach young children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
- Keep all decorations away from open flames, especially cornstalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper.
- Provide young children with glow sticks or flashlights to carry with their costume.
- Remember to keep all exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working properly.
Everyone one is entitled to one good scare on Halloween but let’s keep a house fire out of it. Don’t be haunted with fire damage. Follow these steps to enjoy your spooky season with tricks and treats.
Your friends at SERVPRO are wishing you a happy and safe Halloween. As always, if the unexpected happens, SERVPRO is here to help with fire and water damage.
Tips for Staying Healthy as COVID-19 and Flu Season Converge
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged business owners and homeowners alike to find ways to live and work without exposing themselves or others to this highly contagious virus. Now, the approaching flu season is set to complicate that challenge even further. To help control the threat that the one-two punch of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu presents, SERVPRO of Romulus / Taylor urges everyone to be extra vigilant about following cleaning and disinfecting protocols this year.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu spread primarily by droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk. While not as frequent, it is also believed adults and children can contract COVID-19 or the flu by touching a surface or an object that has virus particles on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. The CDC continues to recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses, but experts also emphasize the importance of cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily to help mitigate the potential spread from contaminated surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
To limit exposure and control the spread of these double threats, SERVPRO recommends you wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol, keep your hands away from your face, and wear a mask to protect others. For effective daily, routine cleaning at home or at work, we recommend first removing surface grime and dirt with soap and water, then following up with a disinfectant. It is easier to feel comfortable about limiting exposure at home where you can control how clean your surroundings are. It is more difficult out in public; but this year especially, it is important to be aware of the space you are in. You need to learn to recognize spaces where cleaning is – or is not – a priority so you can adjust your behavior accordingly.
For those home and business owners who have specialized cleaning requirements or who simply want the peace of mind that a professional cleaning service can offer in this stressful time, SERVPRO of Romulus / Taylor can help. While we remain a leader in disaster cleanup and remediation situations, we also provide that same ‘deeper level of clean’ for everyday residential and commercial cleaning. In addition, SERVPRO offers their "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" program, developed for businesses in response to the pandemic. The high level of confidence that a professionally cleaned space provides offers welcome reassurance to patrons as the flu season intersects with COVID-19.
SERVPRO specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Romulus / Taylor please call 734-992-3138. For more information on the "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" program, please click here.
Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today!
Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month to promote the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” resonates strongly as local communities and communities around the world battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For disaster mitigation specialists at SERVPRO® of Romulus / Taylor, the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, health, and well-being have magnified the importance of SERVPRO’s ongoing message to the communities it serves: When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense.
Before COVID-19 exploded into a global crisis, ‘disaster preparedness’ for the everyday home or business owner was largely dictated by the hazards unique to their location or their business. For some, that meant preparing for hurricanes and water damage, for others, tornadoes, flooding, wind damage, or even wildfires. But COVID-19 taught us that everyone – individuals and business owners alike – needs to be prepared for a national emergency that may disrupt food and medical supplies, transportation systems, schools, businesses, and every single aspect of everyday life that we take for granted. We have learned that no matter where you live or work, in addition to your ‘disaster’ preparations, making certain that you have a stock of some basic items on hand can make a huge difference if a national or global event suddenly disrupts – or even stops – everyday life.
At SERVPRO, we emphasize that everyone still needs to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. FEMA provides easy-to-use disaster planning guidelines at https://www.ready.gov, and home and business owners both can take advantage of free tools like the SERVPRO READY app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Romulus / Taylor as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.
COVID-19 has taught us we need to rethink and add to our disaster preparedness toolkits. We are all still struggling with a ‘disaster’ that has disrupted not only our lives and our jobs, but our entire community, our society, and the supply chain that we depend on. While in retrospect, the shortages of some of these items have become the stuff of urban legend, it is a good idea to stockpile a supply of items for which there are no easy substitutes. Toilet paper; yeast and flour for breadmaking; detergents; canned foods, fruits, and vegetables; pet foods and cat litter; fresh dairy items; diapers; and a host of other items were in short supply for weeks at the beginning of the crisis. Think back on those weeks and keep a supply of the things that you just don’t want to do without – along with some shelf-stable dairy items, dried beans, and frozen meals. Use them before they expire but be sure to replace them.
The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of Romulus / Taylor extend their sincere sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or have been otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Metro Detroit area commercial and residential customers, SERVPRO of Romulus / Taylor continues to specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.”
Emergency Fire Damage Process
Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive. In many cases, your property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts. With our emergency fire damage process, we can get your property back to pre-fire condition “Like it never even happened.”
Within one hour from notice of loss, we will contact you to arrange for service. You will know help is on the way!
Within four hours of loss notification, we will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.
A trained, uniformed, and equipped SERVPRO professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.
We will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.
Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager.
Cleaning, Restoration, & Deodorization:
We will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.
After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.
Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Sewage Back Up Tips
Water damage in your home is devastating, especially cleaning up areas of your home after flooding and sewer damage. Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.
If you ever face a sewage backup in your bathroom, there are a few things that are helpful to know to speed proper cleanup and ensure a safe and sanitary home for your family.
Call for Help
If you suspect you have damaged sewer lines, call your sewage company to schedule an inspection. To protect your home from future mold or rot issues after a toilet overflow, call flood damage remediation experts. Only with the help of professional water removal specialists can you rest assured that floodwater has not crept into places you cannot see to wreak havoc.
Dry the Area
Though you may be tempted to sanitize your bathroom immediately after a toilet overflows, you should not do so before you start drying out the affected area. Whether you are dealing with a flooded toilet or an entire flooded basement, the first thing you should do is utilize heavy duty vacuums, drainage systems and fans to remove all the water.
After drying the area, sanitize it as best you can. Floodwater resulting from sewer damage can be toxic, so be thorough in your cleaning processes. Once the area is dry from the first round of sanitizer, you should plan to disinfect it one more time.
The presence of excess water in a bathroom often welcomes lingering humidity, which only encourages mold growth in spaces affected by sewer water. During the process of drying, sanitizing, and restoring, you should be sure that a dehumidifier is always running.
24 Hour Emergency Service
Here at SERVPRO, we are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home.